United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
H. McKinley Jr., Senior Judge.
Freida Darlene Johnson filed this pro se action
proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is now
before the Court on initial review of the complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons that follow, the instant
action will be dismissed.
Plaintiff filed the complaint on a
general civil complaint form on July 12, 2019. She names the
following Defendants: the Commonwealth of Kentucky; Jay
Wethington, a judge; Owensboro Police Department (OPD)
officers David Thompson, Edward Krahwinkel, and Ed Champion;
Jacinta S. Lanham; Steve Beshear; Tommy Thompson, identified
by Plaintiff as a “government official”; Loren T.
Yonts; and Mark Saffran.
original complaint, Plaintiff states, “OPD conceal the
name Jacinta S. Lanham for 1 yr after we dont investigate the
hit and run death of our 14 yr old son.” She asserts,
“Steve Beshear governor at the time signed Eric's
law which meant he agreed that 7 months was all they could
give the driver for a murder charge.” In the
“Relief” section of the complaint form, Plaintiff
states, “Reopen my sons case #06-41845 pain and
suffering 13 yrs. Jesse Allen Hastie and Amie Cox are free my
son was murder by these (2) people in June 10th 2006 on black
people's day in car registered to Jacinta S. Lanham they
only give Jesse 7 months.”
amended complaint, Plaintiff names the following additional
Defendants: Gene Lanham, identified as a “Judge
Retired/Lawyer”; Jessie Allen Hastie; Steven D. Lynn,
an attorney; James McHenry; Barbara Weakly Jones, identified
as the “Chief Medical Examiner” in Louisville,
Kentucky; OPD officers B. Rose, John Kazlauskas, Michael
Walker, Kent McKenzie, and Det. Arntz; Robert McHenry; David
Payne; Amie Cox; and Ashley Cox.
states, “7 months sentence for (2) white male and
female driving a car on June 10 2006 that results in a
homicide. Lanham have responsibilities in this case also. To
find white suprimist connection. KRS 507.020 applied in this
case.” She continues, “Never charged ruled an
accident they walk. My son was dragged 104 ft. I[t]
wasn't an accident according to eyewitness forensics and
a few officers.” Plaintiff further states as follows:
Jesse Allen Hastie Amie Cox and Jacinta S Lanham hit my son
dragging him 104 ft. After he hit him the actions he took
after dragging him made it murder - he left him to die and
never calls 911. Showing disregard for human life & white
supremist huge miscarriage of justice KKK history matches the
same charaterstics as my son's case. Public - dragging -
14 yrs of age. Wasn't supposed to got caught he does and
Lanham's white suprimist Anglo Saxon KKK.
“Relief” section of the amended complaint,
Plaintiff states “Justice and the ones who are
responsible go to jail prison death. It was a very racially
charge murder of a 14 yr old. KRS 507.020 reopen my son's
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, this
Court must review the instant action. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e); McGore, 114 F.3d at 608-09. Upon review,
the Court must dismiss a case at any time if it determines
that an action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This Court
recognizes that pro se pleadings are to be held to a
less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972);
Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991).
However, the duty “does not require us to conjure up
unpled allegations.” McDonald v. Hall, 610
F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979).
outset, the Court observes that while Plaintiff names
numerous Defendants, she largely fails to allege how each
individual Defendant was involved in the alleged events.
While the Court is aware of its duty to construe pro
se complaints liberally, Plaintiff is not absolved of
her duty to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
by providing Defendants with “fair notice of the basis
for [her] claims.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002). To state a claim for
relief, Plaintiff must show how each Defendant is accountable
because the Defendant was personally involved in the acts
about which she complains. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423
U.S. 362, 375-76 (1976). However, because the complaint is
barred by the statute of limitations, the Court will not
address this issue upon initial review.
regard to Plaintiff's claims against the Commonwealth of
Kentucky and various public officials, including the OPD
officers, the state-court judge, former Governor Beshear, and
the Chief Medical Examiner, the Court construes the
allegations as asserting a violation of the Equal Protection
Clause and/or the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. A claim for a violation of constitutional rights
by government officials must be brought under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. See Thomas v. Shipka, 818 F.2d 496, 500
(6th Cir. 1987), vacated and remanded on other
grounds, 488 U.S. 1036 (1989) (“[I]t is
unnecessary and needlessly redundant to imply a cause of
action arising directly under the Constitution where Congress
has already provided a statutory remedy of equal
effectiveness through which the plaintiff could have
vindicated her constitutional rights.”). Therefore, the
Court construes the claims against the Commonwealth and the
named public officials as brought under § 1983.
statute of limitations for § 1983 actions is governed by
the limitations period for personal-injury cases in the state
in which the cause of action arose. Wallace v. Kato,
549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007). In Kentucky, § 1983 actions
are limited by the one-year statute of limitations found in
Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a). Collard v. Ky. Bd.
of Nursing, 896 F.2d 179, 182 (6th Cir. 1990). Although
state law establishes the statute of limitations for §
1983 actions, federal law controls on the issue of when the
statute of limitations begins to run. Sevier v.
Turner, 742 F.2d 262, 272 (6th Cir. 1984). Federal law
establishes that the § 1983 statute of limitations
accrues when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the
injury that forms the basis of the claim alleged in the
complaint. Ruff ...